alison - 3/31/2009 3:58:04 PM
Discovery and naming
The oldest objects made of copper are beads found in northern Iraq, which date to about 9000 B.C. Tools for working with copper, made in about 5000 B.C., have also been found. In the New World, Native Americans used copper objects as early as 2000 B.C.
The symbol for copper, Cu, comes from the Latin word cuprum. Cuprum is the ancient name of the island of Cyprus. The Romans obtained much of their copper from Cyprus.
Bronze was one of the first alloys produced. It is primarily copper and tin. The two metals can be melted together rather easily. Humans discovered methods for making the alloy as early as 4000 B.C. Over the next thousand years, bronze was used for a great variety of tools, weapons, jewelry, and other objects. It was such an important metal that the period from 4000 to 3000 B.C. is now known as the Bronze Age. The Iron Age followed the Bronze Age when iron began to replace bronze in tools and weapons.